|Birth: ||Jan. 2, 1897|
|Death: ||Dec. 25, 1982|
by Mike Cronk
15 February 1977
Many people have paraded through my life leaving their footprints behind, but few have left as deep and lasting an impression as my grandmother, LEONA MARIA WINTERHALTER. The memory of her warm heartedness and generosity is forever etched in my mind. Grandma had a way of making a child feel special. Her sunshine smile always radiated a warmth that pervaded my entire being. Grandma made a child feel loved. Her kiss hello and her hug good-bye made me feel secure and happy to be alive. In grandma's house my sisters and I were given a freedom never allowed at home. She would serve us unlimited quantities of homemade peanut butter cookies, allow us to snoop in every drawer and closet, and play for us the songs of her youth on the piano for hours on end. My grandma's patience knew no bounds.
One special way in which my grandmother touched my life was by giving me a keen interest in my family roots by making my heritage come alive. A big event in my childhood were the occasions when grandma would bring out the family photo album. The two of us would sit snug together on the old brown couch in the living room, her arm around me and the album open on our laps. As she turned each yellowed page and freely reminisced, the years fell away, until great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, and assorted cousins, many years removed, were resurrected once again in her memory and in my imagination. Grandma made the austere photographs turn into living, feeling, human beings, each with their own story. My great-great-grandfather, Peter Schmidt, was just starting his job as a cabinetmaker after coming with his family to Grand Rapids from the old country in the 1850's. Aunt Caroline was tearfully saying good-bye as she and her new husband, August Pulte, left their families behind to emigrate to Texas, one year after the American Centennial. Grandma, as a little girl, was gleefully splashing in the water coursing down the street from the flood of 1904. I relived the tragedy of the day absent-minded Uncle John fell down the elevator shaft in the old Grand Rapids City Hall. There was my grandma's older brother Paul kissing his bride-to-be good-bye as he left for overseas and the trenches in France, a young man of twenty-three, only to die there of the influenza in 1918. I saw great-grandma Schmidt bustling around in her kitchen, saying to my mother, "Virginia, if you don't eat more you're going to get consumption!"
My inheritance from my grandmother is the love and appreciation for my forebearers that she instilled in me as a child. I have a deep feeling of oneness with those whose blood flows in my veins. Thanks to grandma, the impressions of their lives are firmly implanted in my heart to share with my children and my children's children in the distant years to come.
Leone was actually my great-aunt, but Al and Leone raised my mother after her own mother, Erna, died. Leone was the sister of Erna. Al and Leone were more like grandparents to me than my real grandparents on my father's side. Although they have been gone many years, I miss them dearly. ~Mike Cronk, 1 Feb 2011
WINTERHALTER – MRS. LEONA M. WINTERHALTER, aged 84, widow of ALFRED F. WINTERHALTER, passed away Saturday morning at the Crestview Nursing Center. Mrs. Winterhalter was a member of St. Francis Xavier Church
she is survived by one daughter, MRS. ANDREW (ALICE) LIMBER of Grand Rapids; five grandchildren; a niece, MRS. MAX (VIRGINIA) CRONK, Grand Rapids; a brother, RUDY SCHMIDT and a sister, MRS. LOUISE ESCH both of Grand Rapids.
Funeral Mass will be offered Monday 1 pm in St. Francis Xavier Church. Interment Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Mrs. Winterhalter reposes at the Alt Mortuary, where relatives and friends will recite the Rosary Sunday 8 pm. Friends may meet the family at the Mortuary Sunday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9.
THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS, Grand Rapids, Mich., Sun., Dec. 26, 1982, Pg. 2C, Cols 5-6
KENT COUNTY, MICHIGAN, MARRIAGE RECORDS (1921), Record No. 13607 - RUDOLPH F. LANDGREN & LEONA M. SCHMIDT, married 3 August 1921, Grand Rapids, Kent Co., MI. RUDOLPH (Accountant), b. Grand Rapids, is a son of FRED LANDREN & CHRISTINA SJOQUST. LEONA, b. Grand Rapids, is the daughter of A.P. SCHMIDT & ANNA WINZIG.
August Peter Schmidt (1852 - 1938)
Anna Winzig Schmidt (1861 - 1940)
Rudolph Fred Landgren (1898 - 1926)
Alfred Ferdinand Winterhalter (1896 - 1979)
LEONA M. WINTERHALTER
January 2, 1897
December 25, 1982
Mount Calvary Cemetery
Plot: Block D, Lot 266, Grave ?
Created by: Mike Cronk
Record added: Jun 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53845074